The N95 mask is a particulate filtering facepiece that filters out hazardous airborne particles that could endanger and jeopardize an individual’s health. N95 mask filters out airborne particles such as excessive pollution, dust, dirt, mist, mud, and viral agents and prevents them from entering into an individual’s body, nose, and lungs. What’s remarkable about N95 masks is that they are effective at filtering out 95% of airborne particles that could pose a threat to a person’s health.
The primary reason why N95 masks are better than other masks is that N95 masks can filter out 95% of airborne particles that are tinier than 0.3μm, droplets that are caused as a result of coughing, talking, or sneezing, etc. Since the N95 masks are efficient to this extent, this is what makes them more effective at filtering out hazardous airborne particles and safer than other respirators or masks.
Butte County public health officials about N95s
As a result of wildfires, a county in California, Butte County has suffered drastically because of pollutants, contaminants, and other harmful airborne particles. Butte County locals have been urged to either stay at home or wear N95 masks for protection as the air quality is at hazardous levels. This is because Butte County is contaminated and polluted as a result of wildfires and harmful levels of smoke upraise.
Butte Quality Air Management District has measured the air quality of Butte county, and the range of air quality is from 200 to 300, which means that the rating of air quality of Butte County is from Unhealthy to Very Unhealthy; this is a category at which locals are urged to remain indoors or to wear N95 masks to protect themselves from contamination and pollution while carrying out outdoor activities.
The Butte County Public Health Department said: “It is N95 masks that must be worn.” Public Information Officer Lisa Almaguer also commented on the situation by saying that the N95 mask is the only personal protective equipment that keeps an individual safe from harmful and contaminated smoke, and it ought to be worn in this state of panic.
Since the N95 masks are quite effective at the filtration of hazardous airborne particles like mud, dirt particles, and infectious agents, this is the primary reason why the N95 masks have been considered useful during the pandemic for the prevention of viral diseases. And this is also the reason why Butte County has preferred locals to wear the N95 masks while carrying out outdoor activities.
But the major problem that has arisen is that there has been a shortage of the N95 masks because of the pandemic. The California Department of Public Health has written on their website: “Don’t buy N95 respirator masks for personal use. They are part of the PPE needed by medical professionals.”
Since there has been a shortage of N95 masks, People have been strongly suggested to remain indoors and to avoid carrying out outdoor activities as that could be detrimental to an individual’s health. Almaguer said: “That way there is less of a chance (or) need to wear the mask.” By that way, the N95 masks would be sufficient for the healthcare providers, and they would not face any difficulties while treating COVID-19 patients.
Almaguer said: “People ought to follow all instructions for care, fitting and maintenance of N95 masks for proper and effective use.” Because of the shortage of N95 masks, people have been urged to use the N95 masks effectively by keeping them clean after using them. This shows the weakness of the healthcare infrastructure of the United States government.
Since COVID-19 patients are increasing at a drastic rate, this is the same thing that has been said about COVID-19. This is because healthcare providers need N95 masks to keep themselves protected while treating COVID-19 patients as this is a disease that spreads when a person comes in contact with another person. If there are not any N95 masks left for healthcare providers, how would they possibly treat the infected patients? Because if they treat COVID-19 patients without the N95 masks, they will breathe in the virus. And as a result, COVID-19 would widely spread instead of suppress, which is pretty bad for the United States!
Almaguer said: “Butte County Public Health will let the public know when air quality has improved.” She further added: “People are encouraged to stay informed and use their best judgment.” Moreover, she urged the locals to stay indoors and avoid physical contact when there are pollution and contamination outdoors as a result of wildfire.
The reason why she urged the locals to stay indoors is that being outdoors with this unhealthy level of air quality could be fatal or hazardous to an individual’s overall health. Inhaling contaminated air causes lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and a plethora of other diseases.
Hence, one ought to remain indoors to avoid the aforementioned diseases as a result of the uprising smoke of the wildfire. And if it is urgent for them to go outdoors, they must wear the N95 mask as that is the only effective mask that filters out 95% of airborne particles and protects the wearer or the user from inhaling pollutants, contaminants, mud, dust, smoke, and other harmful airborne particles that might pose a danger to an individual’s health.